The latest UN Climate Change report, issued this month from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), delivers a stark warning: corporations and nations must act, and act quickly, to reduce our climate impact and guarantee our common future. Findings are so dire that the U.N. Secretary-General, António Guterres, referred to the report as a “code red for humanity.”
Connecting People and Planet
“It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land,” the opening pages of the Policymaker Summary states. Reinforcing this intrinsic link between People and Planet, the report affirms that human impacts have warmed the earth by more than one degree Celsius, two degrees Fahrenheit, since the 19th century.
Temperatures around the world are now higher than at any point in the past 125,000 years. Global warming has resulted in the increasingly more extreme weather events we've experienced in recent years, including the record-breaking heatwaves of 2021 (this July, the warmest month on record), and this season's unprecedented flooding incidents around the world.
While this latest news is alarming, there is a glimmer of hope – the changes we're witnessing today are reversible to an extent. Through collective action – widespread commitments from corporations, nations, and humanity en large – we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and stabilize global temperatures.
Setting a New Standard
In the face of our climate emergency, the first major step we've taken as a company is achieving Climate Neutrality, defining a new standard in responsibility for the diamond industry.
We're calling this The 5th C – Climate Neutrality is a concept that goes above and beyond Carbon Neutrality. A company’s total climate impact is made up of not only its annual carbon emissions, but all past greenhouse gas emissions. These ‘legacy’ emissions are often overlooked or left unaddressed. In keeping with our commitment to sustainability and transparency, we worked with independent auditing body SCS Global Services to assess our total impact, and provide a comprehensive lifecycle assessment from our first date of commercial diamond growth forward.
On our Path to Sustainability, from there, we neutralized our total legacy impact 18 times over by investing in Climate and Clean Air Coalition offsets with significant co-benefits and long-lasting positive impacts.
- This investment was made through the SCS certification process to The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), a knowledge and learning center working on behalf of the people of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.
- In many countries around the world, the only available building materials are local clay soils, which can be cheaply made into bricks using primitive kilns. These kilns represent one of the single greatest sources of potent climate and toxic air pollutants around the world – a major driver in the global warming noted in IPCC's report. They're in need of urgent upgrades.
- By contributing to ICIMOD's Himalayan Brick Kiln Project, Latitude is driving focused, step-change improvements across ecosystems and communities. We're joining forces with SCS and other sustainably-minded organizations to drive measurable, real results.
As we always say, sustainability is a journey – not a destination. We are doubling down on mitigation and working toward 100% net zero environmental and social impacts. Each day, our teams strive for continuous improvement – investigating new opportunities to be better, and exploring the ways technology and innovation (both at the core of our company's DNA) can advance our mission.